Following the two Olympic Games missions for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, the ITA will be back on the Asian continent to be responsible for the professional and independent execution of clean sport activities for the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China, in 2023 after its postponement due to Covid-19. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has decided to delegate to the ITA key areas of its anti-doping program for the Asian Games that will feature over 10’000 expected participating athletes taking part in 61 sports disciplines across 44 venues.
The ITA will implement clean sport activities for the event, including the preparation of an extensive risk assessment identifying the doping risks across all participating sports which will serve as a basis to define a tailor-made testing program. The ITA will collaborate with participating International Federations (IFs) and relevant National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) to promote pre-Games testing efforts on athletes likely to take part. The ITA will also support the exchange of information with IFs and other organisations to gather any relevant intelligence for the planning of targeted tests.
For the anti-doping activities during the event, the ITA will be present on-site to oversee doping controls, which will be supported by the human and logistical resources of the Local Organising Committee and the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA). The ITA will also manage the administration of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) during the Asian Games.
Any potential anti-doping rule violations under the jurisdiction of the OCA in connection with the Asian Games in Hangzhou will be pursued independently by the ITA and prosecuted before the competent jurisdiction, if asserted. The ITA will also develop a tailor-made education and activity plan for pre-event and Games-time activities in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) International Standard for Education.
“It is a great honour for my organisation that the Olympic Council of Asia has decided to entrust it with the important task of keeping the Hangzhou Games clean,” says ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen. “We have proven that we can implement our independent and expert management of anti-doping programs on a large scale during the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympic Games. And we will show the same professionalism at the Asian Games, one of the biggest sporting events in the world, constantly striving to safeguard the health of the athletes and the fairness of the competitions. I look forward to continuing the great collaboration with CHINADA and hope that this partnership between the OCA and the ITA is just the beginning of a long and successful journey in support of all Asian National Olympic Committees and their athletes.”
Raja Randhir Singh, Acting President OCA, said: “We look forward to this partnership for clean sport and to leverage ITA’s expertise in running anti-doping programs for major events. All aspects of the ITA’s anti-doping operations for the Asian Games will be conducted in strict compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the OCA Anti-Doping Rules and will be subject to monitoring and observation by a team of independent experts appointed by WADA.”